Copyright - Fastcompany
How to Isolate Your Enemy
- source: Fastcompany -

Colonel John R. Boyd saw isolation as a critical strategic device -- in effect, the opposite of the information-rich environment that pilots (or companies) need in order to operate effectively. In isolation, he argued, a competitor had no hope of observing and adapting to a changing environment. Isolating your enemy, Boyd saw, could become a powerful tool to make his OODA loop inoperable, cutting off the flow of information both in and out of the organization. In his 14-hour briefing, "A Discourse on Winning and Losing," Boyd described three strategies for isolation.

"Physically we can isolate our adversaries by severing their communications with [the] outside world as well as by severing their internal communications to one another. We can accomplish [the former] ... via diplomatic, psychological, and other efforts. To cut them off from one another, we should penetrate their system by being unpredictable.

"Mentally we can isolate our adversaries by presenting them with ambiguous, deceptive, or novel situations, as well as by operating at a tempo or rhythm they can neither make out nor keep up with. Operating inside their OODA loops will accomplish just this by disorienting or twisting their mental images so that they can neither appreciate nor cope with what's really going on.

"Morally our adversaries isolate themselves when they visibly improve their well-being to the detriment of others ... by violating codes of conduct or behavior patterns that they profess to uphold or others expect them to uphold."